Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in Harris County, TX. The presiding judge may require DWI probation as part of the sentence. According to Texas law, the probationer is an eligible prisoner who receives conditional release by the order of the court.
The Harris County DWI probationer is placed in community supervision for a certain period. A sentence of probation is the judge’s way of saying the individual must take careful next steps and avoid drug and alcohol use in the future.
Payment of Restitution
If placed on DWI probation in Harris County, the probationer will pay fees and fines associated with the charge. Sometimes, the probationer is required to pay attorney and court fees and costs. When the judge orders restitution to victim(s), he or she must pay the “Payment of Restitution.” All fees must be paid on time. A probationer must make payment arrangements with the probation department if he or she cannot make payments as agreed.
Harris County Probation DWI Monitoring
The probation department of the court is responsible for those on probation. The individual’s compliance with probation are monitored by the probation department. The conditions for a DWI conviction may include:
- Drug and alcohol evaluation by a designated professional before beginning a treatment program. The evaluation is necessary to determine the type of treatment the probationer will receive.
- Required enrollment in a DWI and/or anger management class, paid for by the probationer, to be completed within six months of the start of probation.
- Mandatory ignition interlock device installed within the probationer’s vehicle, used to verify that he or she is not using drugs or alcohol while driving. The device analyzes the driver’s breath samples and automatically locks the vehicle ignition if any trace of alcohol (over 0.04) is discovered. Probationers without a car must sign an affidavit confirming that he or she will not drive during DWI probation. Some judges may make a person carry a portable unit if they don’t have a car.
- Urine samples, eye scans, and breathalyzer tests to evaluate the presence of drugs and alcohol
- No Alcohol. No drugs; illegal or unprescribed. And a probationer may not refuse a breath test if offered one by a police officer, court staff, or a probation officer
- Victim Impact Panel. Where a probationer listens to stories from other whose lives were negatively affected by DWI
- Payment to Crimes Stopper
- An amount of community service to be completed at a minimum rate per mont
- Certain offenses are enhanced and will have minimum jail time required as a term of probation. Any jail time that is as a term of probation is day for day, with no back credit.
Harris County DWI Probation Compliance
The probationer who submits to the terms of his or her probation has many concerns. His or her sentence is complete at the end of the probationary period. Although the driver record will show the DWI, he or she may suffer additional penalties or restriction associated with this DWI violation in the future. For example: prohibition of access into certain countries; increase in insurance rates; inability to be a Concealed Handgun License holder; DPS surcharges; and a lifetime stigma that police will see every time you are pulled over.
Probationers regularly meet with an assigned probation officer. The probation officer assists the probationer by regularly notifying the court about his or her progress. Monthly probation meetings are important appointments. The individual must arrive on time and submit officer-required paperwork.
Some probationers ask if the probationary period can be shortened. It is impossible and against the law to early terminate a DWI probation period. However, there may be some instances in which the experienced Houston DWI attorney can petition for an early discharge.
Probation Non-Compliance in Harris County
Probationers who do not follow the prescribed conditions of DWI probation should prepare to pay serious consequences. His or her probation officer is likely to issue a Motion to Adjudicate or Revoke Probation. The Judge will then issue a warrant for the proabtioner’s arrest. When brought back to court, the probationer will now face greater probationary restrictions or revoked probation. Revoked probation is likely to mean jail time.
Violation of probation may occur if the defendant:
- Fails to attend scheduled court dates and times
- Is arrested
- Fails to provide court-ordered compensation to one or more victims
- Is found to have alcohol or drugs in his or her bloodstream
- Does not attend court-ordered alcohol and drug awareness classes
- Is found to possess any illegal narcotic
Houston DWI Defense
A Houston DWI charge is very difficult for the accused and his or her family. It is possible to avoid conviction when accused of a DWI charge.
Contact Houston DWI attorney Thiessen Law Firm to request a free consultation. Thiessen Law Firm in Houston will work hard for you by presenting the strongest possible defense to increase the likelihood of a favorable case outcome. Call now at 713.864.9000.